​Fractal Systems awarded $12.5 million towards regional diluent reduction hub

Fractal Systems wrapped up a commercial demonstration at its technology field pilot site near Provost, Alta. in 2017. Image: Fractal Systems

Fractal Systems says that it has been awarded new funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to help commercialize its technology designed to dramatically reduce diluent requirements in oilsands pipeline and rail transportation.

The company has been awarded up to $7.2 million from SDTC and up to $5.0 million from ERA to develop a plan to deploy its Enhanced JetShear technology at a major pipeline hub in Alberta.

Since wrapping a successful commercial demonstration program with Cenovus Energy in 2017, Fractal says it has developed commercial relationships with producers, midstream companies, capital providers and other organizations to prepare for the project.

It is expected to process up to 50,000 barrels of bitumen per day, or the equivalent of 70,000 to 75,000 bbls/d of diluted bitumen.

“Fractal’s EJS technology cost-effectively improves bitumen product quality, particularly through reduced acidity, and significantly lowers bitumen viscosity, which eliminates the need for approximately 50 percent of the diluent normally required to meet pipeline specifications depending on feedstock quality and selected process operating conditions,” the company said in a statement.

“Reducing the required diluent lowers transportation costs, increases export pipeline capacity by about 20 percent, and cuts wells-to-tank GHG emissions by 11 percent. The reduced viscosity also allows the EJS product to be more efficiently shipped with little or no diluent by rail to refineries on the US Gulf Coast and other locations. The EJS technology directly addresses many of the challenges facing the bitumen and heavy oil industry.”

Funding from SDTC and ERA will be used to support the advancement of a construction-ready project development plan over the next two years, Fractal said.